Over 18 Major League seasons, beginning with his move to Seattle in at age 27 in 2001, Ichiro compiled a remarkable 3,089 hits. He will assist, based on his experience, with outfield play, baserunning and hitting. But if this turns out to be the end of his playing days, there's no doubt he'll go down in history as one of the all-time greats.
Only a handful of people knew Wednesday was the final game of the 2018 season for Suzuki.
"While this agreement only covers the 2018 season, it is our goal that Ichiro be a member of the Seattle organization long-term", Dipoto said. While it will evolve over time, the key is that Ichiro's presence in our clubhouse and with our players and staff improves our opportunity to win games.
Of course, it's possible that Ichiro has played his last game in the big leagues. While there are no guarantees of Suzuki returning, Seattle and Oakland do open the 2019 regular season with a two-game series in Tokyo. While Suzuki struggled at the plate, he did have a few defensive gems, including robbing the Cleveland Indians' Jose Ramirez of a homer on the opening weekend of the season and reminding everyone of his greatness as an all-around player.
"He's kind of like the Dalai Lama in the clubhouse", Dipoto said. He'll sit down in his chair, and immediately Dee Gordon is sitting next to him and Mitch Haniger is turning sideways and he's across the row.
Gordon had "Thanks 51" on his cap Thursday night, and in his first at-bat, he held his bat out in front of him and paused, just like Suzuki.
He joined the Mariners in 2001, the last Seattle team to reach the postseason.
"Me and Ichi have a good relationship", Gordon said.
Even more impressive, when added to his hit total with Japan's Onix Blue Wave, Ichiro had 4,367 hits as a professional - more than Pete Rose's Major League record of 4,256. Everyone wanted to be Ichiro, and for a second it felt like I was. Ichiro signed with the Mariners in March after three seasons with the Miami Marlins. Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto announced Thursday afternoon that Suzuki will not play any more games this year and is instead going to work in a front office role for the team, but the future Hall of Famer doesn't want to completely hang it up quite yet.
He said he does not feel a sense of loss, as he will continue practicing with his teammates.